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Mosquitoes Positive for West Nile Virus in Knox County

Knox County- The Knox County Health Department announces that staff have collected mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile Virus. The sample of mosquitoes collected were from a mosquito batch within Galesburg Township.

This is the first positive environmental samples collected this year in Knox County. “We expect that mosquito activity will last through the remainder of the summer months and into the fall season,” notes Sarah Willett, Environmental Health Supervisor. Currently, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 30 counties with positive human, birds, mosquitoes and/or horses.

The Health Department reminds individuals that preventing exposure to mosquitoes is the best way to avoid contracting the virus.” The Knox County Health Department reminds residents to practice the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report the help fight against mosquitoes.

  • REDUCE exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

    • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

    • Avoid places and times when mosquitoes bite, before and after sunset and again just before dawn.

    • Wear long sleeves and pants when in wooded areas. Keep pant legs tucked into boots or socks.

    • Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, pet’s water bowl, old tires, and any other receptacles.

  • REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

  • REPORT – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. The Health Department may be able to add larvicide to the water, which may kill any mosquito eggs.

The Knox County Health Department conducts active surveillance for West Nile Virus through mosquito trapping and collection of dead birds. If a dead bird is found between now and October 15th and appears to have died of natural causes and has no sign of decomposition, residents should report the sighting to the Health Department Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 309-344-2224.

For more information regarding West Nile Virus, please call the Knox County Health Department at 309-344-2224.

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